What is Pay Per Click marketing?
In this blog post I will try to explain PPC in the easiest form and hopefully, by the end of it, you would be able to understand what is PPC, how does it work, the importance of analytics while performing Ads.
So let’s begin with what actually PPC stands for:
PPC means pay per click i.e. the amount that you pay to any search engine when you decide to run your AD on that medium. It is a part of SEM i.e. search engine marketing.
Now let’s try to understand how does it work?
- A consumer searches for a product on a search engine.
- An Ad pops up
- Now he clicks on the Ad and lands up on your website.
But, wait what is the Ad made up of? How the search engine (here I will be talking about GOOGLE) decided to show it up? and most importantly what to do with the information that is gathered from test running these Ads.
I will try to explain all these questions below:
What is an Ad made up of?
It is made up of keywords that you selected to advertise your product. Basically it consists of a heading and the URL to the landing page, also you can add site link, location link, call link to it which are known as ad-extensions.
What makes an Ad to pop up?
Google Ads work around the keywords that you choose to showcase your products. Keywords are basically the search terms that you believe your consumer is most likely to type while looking for your business. Then you bid on these keywords i.e. how much are you willing to pay for this keyword. This bid combined with quality score helps Google to determine your Ad rank.
PPC is all about experimenting with your Ads and observing which one is doing best for you. Never rely on one set of keywords to work for you instead it’s a good practice to experimenting with different sets of ads initially to see which one is working for you.
Also, it is very important to keep your ad relevant by making sure that users land directly on the page which solves the purpose of the Ad. If, it does not happen chances are very high that they will bounce back which will hamper the quality score of your Ad and also, the ad shown will not serve your purpose of customer conversion.
To get to the point, let’s take an example of two businesses. Business A, which specializes in women dresses only, and other business B that caters to everything.
Now if you are an owner of business A, then you might not want to create an Ad that is not relevant to your targeted audience and may attract unqualified customers. To have the relevant Ad start with listing down the keywords that would attract only the relevant users. Sample keywords can be:
- Women dresses
- Women party dresses
- Women denim dresses
- Women day dresses
On the other hand, if your business deals with all kinds of segments under Women’s clothing, it won’t be a nice idea to shape up your Ad around one product. Instead, you have to be more generic and strategic.
Pick up the keywords around high selling and top margin products. For high selling products, it won’t have trouble generating high search volumes and bigger margin products will allow you to keep the test ad run for a longer time. Like;
- Women wear
- Women workwear
- Women clothes
Objective: In either case, your primary objective should be looking for keywords that can generate maximum traffic to your website.
What will make consumers click on it?
How attractive you can make your Ad is totally up to you, Ad testing and optimization is the key here.
Here is the example of two kinds of Ad for business A, which it can put on Google:
TIP: Always have two sets of Ads for an Ad group to see which one is working for you and also make sure that in a campaign two Ad groups are relevant to each other.
Buy women party dresses| work wear Shop with Afterpay* Free Shipping On Purchases Over $70. Buy Now, Collection In-Store Available
Dresses for everyone! Shop maxi dresses, midi dresses, party dresses, long-sleeved dresses, wrap dresses & playsuits. Afterpay & free shipping over $60.
TIP: Always try more than one version of your Ad, to see which one is working for you.
Please note it is very important to keep in sync between keywords and Ad, i.e. make sure your keywords are communicated in your Ad copy.
For business B, Ad copy can be more generic, like
Buy top brands at low prices.30% off on purchases above $100
Objective: To spend money intelligently, always try to target customers that are looking for you and can give you conversions.
After these two, what is most important is the customer experience on your page.
Potential customers expect when they click on the AD, they land on the page they are looking for. Anything, otherwise would not serve their purpose and would result in a bounce.
Let’s take an example here
- BAD – The “first Ad” is classified as a bad Ad because the chances for the customer to bounce back is very high here. When the customer will click on this ad he will be redirected to the home page of the company which will not solve the purpose for the customer.
- Good – The “second Ad” is considered good for customer experience as when he will hit the click button he will be redirected to the dress section with relevant discount options as mentioned on the website which will keep him interested for few more clicks.
- Great – The “third Ad” is considered great because it will lead the customer directly to the page he is specifically looking for, which leads to the higher chances of conversion.
Objective: Try to provide high-quality customer experience for maximum conversion
What to do with the Data gathered?
Now, when you have spent some time and money on these Ads, you will be able to generate the data in terms of how these Ads are working.
Let’s work from top to bottom of the conversion funnel
Impressions > Clicks > Conversion
Impressions: Impressions are the total number of times your ad has been shown by the search engine. There is also a term known as “Impression shares” which gives you the percentage of times your Ads are shown out of the places where it appeared or could have appeared.
Impression share can help you see if your campaign has got enough impressions. I.e. is your Ad is shown to the customers a relevant number of times.
Clue: Impression share can only be seen at a “campaign level”. It is important to keep this in mind when you structure your campaign and ad group, impression share will be less useful for Ad groups that are less or not relevant to each other.
Keeping a tab on impressions and impression share would give you an advantage over your competitors.
Clicks: It is the number of times a customer has clicked on your Ad. And, Click-through rate (CTR) is the total number of times your Ads were clicked divided by Impressions or in other terms how relevant your Ads were when they appear on the search engine.
Everyone is doing PPC, but not everyone is doing it right. The average click-through rate is 1.9% so it becomes very important for you to have a good CTR in order to get more customers.
Click through rate gives you an idea about how well your Ads are for your target audience. Only, writing convincing Ads is not important, it should target your audience as well.
CTR matters because it has an important part in the “Quality score” metrics of Google. Google takes it as “relevancy”.
Tight keyword groups plus relevant Ads can give you high CTR.
You have to build your campaign around the Ad groups intelligently.
Given, the theme of this AD group is Dresses, the keywords are pretty relevant to each other and Ads are also in sync with the keywords. But, the question remains is this the targeted audience?
Now, let’s take the example of Ad group 2.
Assuming the keyword bids are same, If a person is looking specifically, for party dresses then this Ad group is going to outperform Ad group 1, as it has:
- Tighter keywords for party dresses
- Display URL will direct the customer to the relevant Page
- Both Ads are relevant in terms of keyword and Ad copy
Please note: Higher CTR gives higher Quality Score which in return improves the Ad rank and also lowers the CPCs.
It is very important to test your Ads, learn from the metrics (like impression, impression share, CTR, etc.) and modify your strategy.
Use Longer Headlines, to display more information in your Ad headline and also Google suggests using site links to make it even better.
Conversions: It is the total number of customers who have used your services.
For any business, customer acquisition is imperative. And, in order to build on this, you have to continuously test, learn, refine and repeat.
Also, at the same time try to understand your customers, what triggers them to take action, what are their problem areas, it would help you to effectively design your marketing strategies.
So herein, we have discussed broadly what PPC is, how it can be used effectively and why it is important. I would conclude it by saying remaining experimental, vigilant and optimistic is the key to PPC marketing.